If you're looking for a holiday menu that feels traditional with a few surprising elements and flavors added along the way, you're going to love this meal centered around a golden, juicy roasted pork loin served with a vibrant and tart green apple sauce. In this menu you'll find everything you need to turn this main into a meal, including a plan for sides, dessert, and even some suggestions on what to eat.
The Menu + A Few Tips
Using apples as a partner for pork in this menu is not only intentional from a flavor standpoint (they're a near perfect pair), but also because streamlining ingredients cuts down on ingredient costs and shopping time.
- White Wine, Rum & Apple Cider Cocktail
- Butternut Squash and Parmesan Dip
- Pork Loin with Green Apple Gremolata
- Bacon-Lovers' Potato Salad
- 2-Ingredient Yogurt Drop Biscuits
- Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Brown Butter Dressing
- Sunken Apple Cake (Versunkener Apfelkuchen)
What to Drink
Start the evening with a pitcher of this white wine, rum & apple cider cocktail. Let guests help themselves while they munch on butternut squash and Parmesan dip while you put the finishing touches on dinner. Want to skip the elaborate cocktail? This is an excellent opportunity to try a dry apple cider from a local brewer.
What to Eat: The Classic Pork Loin Roast
A good pork loin roast never disappoints — as long as it's not overcooked and adequately seasoned. Our recipe starts with a pan-sear before roasting to create a crisp exterior that holds a rosy pink interior. Apples and onions roast alongside and turn into a supple, almost jam-like accompaniment. But the true detail that makes the roast sing is the tart green apple gremolata. Think of it as an herbaceous alternative to sweet applesauce.
What to Eat: The Sides
Potato salad is usually summer fare, but hear me out — potato salad is a potato dish that actually gets better if made in advance, meaning you won't be mashing the minute guests walk in. The smoky bacon component here balances some of the sweetness of the pork loin.
Everyone will want something savory to scoop up bits of the roasted apples and onion from the pork, and these two-ingredient biscuits are the perfect vehicle without any of the work of dinner rolls.
Adding something green to a table set with rosy pork and apples is easy with this Brussels sprout salad studded with hazelnuts and tossed with a brown butter dressing.
Keep dessert simple with this apple cake served lightly sweetened whipped cream. Consider making the cake the day before and warming gently in the oven while you clear the table from dinner.